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By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2003-05-06 Print this article Print

Previously, Telos had used Sun Microsystem Inc.s LDAP server product. But because Sun prices per user account rather than per server, as does Sleepycat, the cost of deployment was too steep, according to Stephen Williams, director of SGSN (Serving GPRS [General Packet Radio Service] Support Node) product development, in Vancouver. "[Berkeley DB XML] is going to save us a lot of money," Williams said. "Many products are big iron and carry a big-iron price tag with them. The Oracle [Corp.] or any other [relational database management system] can cost many thousands of dollars, depending on the number of seats or users. The iPlanet product [from Sun], the best pricing we can get is 50 cents per [supported cell phone user]. We just know Berkeley DB XML product will be lower."
Williams estimated that Sleepycats software would save Telos thousands of dollars per deployment of its SGSN product, which is a product that handles packet data to mobile phones.
Sleepycats software is a typical open-source scheme: either free to download and use or for a fee to ship a product without making the application source code freely available. The company has about 200 million licensed users, of which about 200 are paying customers, officials said. Unlimited replication rights for Berkeley DB sell for $300,000. Sleepycat writes proprietary-like licenses for those companies that prefer to keep their codes to themselves, with average selling prices of $150,000 for the transactional engine, officials said. Berkeley DB XML will be priced at $15,000 per server, with the same free-or-fee terms.

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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